Friday, April 10, 2015

East Flores and Lembata

After an afternoon arrival in Maumere, Flores Island, we reunited with our primary driver from last year's installation.  We set out to the east, serviced one station along the way, and took in the scenery of the volcanic arc.  The contrast between the outer arc islands of Timor and Sumba against the volcanic arc islands of Flores, Lembata, and Alor is a central theme of our geologic and geophysical investigation of this part of the Banda region.
After an overnight stay in Larantuka and multiple reconfigurations of our travel plans (due to elusive and/or faulty info on travel schedules) led us to arrive on Lembata Island on day two.  We managed to visit the station closest to Lewoleba (Lembata's capitol), making it three stations in 2.5 days.  The next morning, we made it to Baopukang - host to one of the most scenic stations in the array.

Nova taking notes of the station's
excellent performance.
Station BAOP after servicing and data collection that included a far bit of gardening.
The view westward across the Lembata Strait is especially enjoyable after finding
the equipment in good condition and not being on the edge of heat stroke!
Thunderclouds piling up over land masses are surreal at times. 
Satisfied after a solid run through strongly performing stations, we had an opportunity to visit a local fabric weaver.  The property was full of local orchids, small ponds, lots of whale bone artifacts (Lembata is one of a few places worldwide that still practices whale hunting), and naturally harvested pearls. Our driver, Julius, let a VERY vocal cockatoo our of its cage, provides this terrific photo:

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